UC Bridles the Mustangs, 56-50

Basketball is a game of runs. We’ve all seen them and been on opposite sides of them. We were there to see Nick or Lazelle take over a game single-handedly with their shooting, or the loathsome Tom Kleindschmidt or Earl Boykins (old school references – use Google to educate yourself, kids) going on their own runs. The Bearcats game against SMU had a run akin to some of the classics with Farad Cobb taking the game over in the second half, leading the Bearcats to a win against the SMU Mustangs (ranked #39 in the RPI ), 56-50.

This was the first game where Larry Davis took the helm knowing he was the permanent interim head coach. While the team did not show the offensive efficiency they displayed at NCST, their halftime adjustments were crucial to the win. The team reduced turnovers in the second half and improved their offensive efficiency, shooting 59% from the field, compared to 32% in the first half.

Much of the offensive efficiency in the 2nd half came from an 11-0 run mostly by JuCo transfer Farad Cobb, hitting three straight threes. At the end of the run the Bearcats had turned a 4-point deficit into a 7-point lead. “When I hit one or two in a row, I can get going” quipped Cobb in the post-game press conference.  Well, Farad got going…and may very well be the new buzz in Clifton.

The defensive stamp was also seen in this game, especially on SMU sharp-shooter Nic Moore. Widely known as the most effective scorer for the Mustangs and one of the few effective point guards that can create their own shot, he shot 1-4 from three in the second half . Troy Caupain pulled the lion’s share of the defensive assignment on Moore, and stated, “We knew he was the guy we needed to stop; we worked a lot this week on finding him in transition and talking through where he was on the court.”

The win gives the Bearcats additional momentum going into the AAC schedule, with their next test taking place on Jan. 6th at 5/3rd arena at 7P against East Carolina.

By John Ryan McCarty (@jrmccarty)